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State Board Report

December 2014

While growing up, I remember hearing from “older folks” about how fast time flew by. That was a difficult concept for me to understand, as it seemed like the school year never ended and birthdays and holidays took forever to arrive. Now I have joined the ranks of those who can hardly believe how quickly years seem to go by. As I was preparing to write this “Memo” for the final State Board Report of 2014, I couldn’t help thinking: “Is it really already December?”

One of the ways we measure time at NASBA is by the terms of office of our Chairs and Board members. This week I received a wonderful message from Doug Skiles of Nebraska, who recently completed his term as Central Regional Director on NASBA’s Board of Directors. In his message, Doug wrote how “time has really slipped away fast” in respect to his membership on the Nebraska Board of Accountancy and his service on the NASBA Board. His comments made me reflect on similar messages from recent past Chairs Gaylen Hansen and Carlos Johnson about the fleeting opportunity of serving on State Boards and with NASBA, and the importance of getting the most from the time you have as part of these groups.

As we come to the end of 2014 and reflect on the endeavors we undertook, and the successes we achieved, we now are immediately thrust into the challenges of a new year. For some of you, 2015 will be your first full year of service on your State Board, just as new members of the NASBA Board will take up the reins from those like Doug, who have been guiding our course. Right now, at the genesis of your regulatory career, you should be considering your Board’s goals and the opportunities that you will have during your time, remembering that it will “slip away fast.”

Not only does time move rapidly, but the expectations of our stakeholders, including candidates and licensees, is for faster, more intuitive service as technology makes it more possible. As millenials enter the marketplace, with the expectation of change and with the desire for nearly instant gratification, we will all be challenged to consider, develop and make improvements while maintaining the core mandates of sound public policy and strong public protection. Each of you will be challenged to consider what your role and contribution to change will be during your tenure — or whether you will leave it to the next generation.

At the NASBA Annual Meeting we had candid discussions about the need for uniformity in accounting laws and rules, the need to address changes in higher education and CPE, and the need to make progress in improving diversity, both in the profession and in the regulatory arenas. No doubt, these are big and complex issues that have been around for years. My challenge to you is to consider what your role will be in making meaningful progress toward resolving them during your fleeting opportunity to work with other Boards.

NASBA and State Boards are blessed to have so many talented and accomplished men and women working together. NASBA has developed resources and capabilities to provide unprecedented services to State Boards. There has never been a better time to take on important issues and make your term count – whether you are in your first year of service on your Board or your last. Something for you to think about as we approach a new year.

I wish each of you and your families a safe and wonderful holiday season and a happy and productive new year. “New year?” Is it really already December?

Semper ad meliora. (Always toward better things.)

— Ken L. Bishop
President and CEO

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